web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Taxi Standstill

Business-Halacha-logo

Zvi was working in his office in the city. Toward the end of the day his wife called. “Do you remember that we have our cousin’s wedding tonight?” she asked. “You need to get home as fast as you can!”

“Yes, I remember,” Zvi replied. “I’m planning to take a taxi.”

At 5:00 sharp Zvi headed out of the office to the street. He raised his hand and hailed the next available cab. He provided the cabbie his address and was surprised to find that the cab driver was a religious Jew.

“I usually take the train,” Zvi said. “But we have a cousin’s wedding tonight and I have to get home quickly.”

“I’ll try my best,” said the driver, “but it is rush hour.”

After heading crosstown, they finally got on the highway. Traffic was moving slowly, but steadily.

“Looks OK,” said the driver. “Not bad for rush hour.”

No sooner had he said this than the traffic slowed considerably and then came to a complete standstill.

“What’s going on?” Zvi asked the driver.

The driver turned on his radio. “Major accident on the highway,” they heard over the radio. “Traffic is at complete standstill due to intense police activity. Avoid the area and take alternate routes.”

Zvi looked at his watch. “Is there any way to get off the highway?” he asked the driver.

“The next exit is a quarter-mile from here,” said the driver. “But I can’t budge an inch. We’re stuck in a parking lot!”

Meanwhile, the taximeter continued to tick, adding 50 cents every minute. After twenty minutes, they hadn’t progressed at all, and the fare had increased $10. “People all around were getting out of their cars to look and stretch their legs.

Finally, Zvi turned to the driver. “We could be stuck here another half hour, and then we have to deal with all the traffic buildup,” he said. “I’m better taking the train! I’m getting off here. What does the meter read?”

“You’re leaving me stuck in the traffic to lose more time after I’ve already wasted twenty minutes here?” replied the taxi driver. “That’s not fair to me!”

“It’s not my fault there was an accident,” replied Zvi. “I didn’t cause you the loss.”

“But you hired me to take you home,” argued the taxi driver. “You’re leaving me in the middle of the job.”

“The fare is determined by the meter,” reasoned Zvi. “If I end here – that’s it.”

“I attend a business halacha shiur,” said the cab driver. “We learned that if an employer retracts in the middle of a job he owes the worker compensation for the reminder of the job.”

“I’m not sure that applies here,” said Zvi. “But I just installed the new ‘Dial-a-Dayan’ app on my phone. We can ask Rabbi Dayan.”

“Wow!” exclaimed the driver. “I never knew there was such an application.”

“Just kidding,” laughed Zvi. “But I do have Rabbi Dayan’s phone number.”

Zvi called Rabbi Dayan and presented the issue. “Do I owe the driver anything for the remainder of the trip?” he asked.

“There is a difference between a car service driver, who is paid a flat amount for the ride, and a taxi driver, whose fare is determined by the meter,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “In a car service, you have to compensate the driver if you stop in the middle of the ride; in a taxi, you do not.”

“Why should that make a difference?” asked Zvi.

“Once the worker begins a job, he has a commitment to complete it and the owner has a commitment to provide him the salary,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, if the owner retracts in the middle of the job, he still owes the worker compensation for the remainder of the salary. He can deduct a certain amount, though, since the worker now has free time and, in this case, saves on gasoline for the remaining distance. This is called k’poel batel – like an idle worker.” (C.M. 333:2)

“Why is a taxi different then?” asked Zvi.

“For two reasons,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “First, a taxi can usually find another customer who will pay the same fare.”

“This makes sense in routine circumstances, where the taxi driver can pick up new passengers,” said Zvi. “But here the driver is stuck and cannot pick up anyone!”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

2 Responses to “Taxi Standstill”

  1. Trivializing halacha is no better than ignoring it

    re

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    Let me add another factor: Taxi fares take into account the occasional traffic jam which is so bad that one is better off walking the rest of the way to one's destination. Thus, the quick, uneventful ride is counterbalanced by nightmares such as this. On the other hand, a flat rate ride is just that. The only exception would be if the cab broke down, which isn't the case here.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Michael Oren, Dec. 16, 2013.
Ambassador Michael Oren Warns Obama is Legitimizing Hamas
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Mr. Haber called Rabbi Dayan. “We sold various household items, including my bicycle, the refrigerator and some professional tools with the expectation of being relocated,” he said. “It turns out we’re staying. Can I annul those sales?”

“You cannot restrain Ari from building a fence on his property,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“I would understand if I became sick and could not finish,” said Mr. Braun. “But here it was my choice to stop the work and go take care of my mother.”

“David is also entitled, since he is also learning,” Moshe replied. “He’ll be back in a few minutes. Anyway, I’m on a diet and didn’t take one for myself, so I don’t see any problem taking for him.”

Shlomo called Rabbi Dayan. “I lent someone money, and he now denies the loan,” he began. “If the opportunity presents itself, am I allowed to grab money from him?”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/taxi-standstill/2013/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: